Don’t underestimate the power of a sticker

By Ken Gasque

“The human race built most nobly when limitations were greatest.” – Frank Lloyd Wright. I think this applies equally to marketing and advertising. Any fool can take a budget of $2,000,000 and create a great campaign…well maybe not, because I see some very stupid and annoying advertising being produced by some very large corporations with very big budgets. However, every now and then a small company with a very limited budget will create some advertising that changes their world and ours.

Sticker Advertising

Sticker advertising may not be noble, but it can be effective, and it can be done on a shoestring with some good creative. You should try it.

When they began their business Reddit founders invested their entire advertising budget, $500, in stickers. Then they distributed them by hand and friend.

“Yes, stickers: the soundest investment I ever made. I used to travel around the country a lot (thank you, Chinatown bus), and everywhere I went I took stickers with me. I put them on signs, poles, and even other advertisements.” Alexis Ohanian in Fast Company. Today it is a multi-million-dollar company. Started with just $500 worth of stickers.

Guerrilla Marketing

I fell in love with stickers when I was a kid and I have never quit loving them…and so did millions of other kids. Stickers are fun, visual, creative and interactive. And if you are a sticker marketer you know stickers are a tangible way of the consumer ‘liking’ your product or service and telling the world.

Guerrilla marketing is about surprise and minimalism. A small budget spent on a clever idea can generate impact and demand. We love to sport our brands. And especially if it is cool.

Midwest Pizza

Stickers fit well with a Midwest Pizzeria’s brand personality three ways: “We’re visual, we’re fun, we’re local,” Adam May says. “Stickers help push our cultish following.” The Pizzeria prints up 10,000 stickers at a time and keeps a big bowl of free stickers on the counter. “It’s a huge branding tool for us. When someone takes 15 stickers and sticks them on 15 different people and it grows from there, it’s like going viral online,” May says.

Efficient and inexpensive. Make a small investment in stickers and let your customers distribute and post. It is a form of word-of-mouth advertising. Stickers are tools to encourage and amplify word-of-mouth and make it visual.

Run a contest

Offer prizes for the best traveled sticker. A photo of your sticker on the Great Wall of China (don’t get caught) or on signage at the Leaning Tower of Pisa (remove it when you leave—sticker responsibly) or in the county jail in Sanders County, Montana. Encourage your customer to be creative with your stickers and shoot photos of your sticker in very famous or infamous places then post all of the entries for everyone to enjoy. Pick a winner and reward the winner handsomely.

Advertise…it pays.

About Ken Gasque
Ken Gasque is a brand developer, marketing planner and designer. Ken works with small companies and Fortune 500 companies who recognize the need to differentiate their products and services to stand out in a cluttered market. Ken is a highly visual, outside-the-box-thinker on advertising, branding and marketing—his work reflects his belief that “We buy with our eyes.” Ken writes and lectures on his experiences developing brands (good and bad).